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How to learn technique.

Suppose you have decided to learn the piano. Good! That’s a great idea. Suppose you don’t have a teacher. Ha! Could be a problem. You go online, find a few tutorials, a few ideas, a few songs, you get yourself going. Again, great! And then you hit a wall, a hard one: you can’t play fast, you can’t do certain figures like arpeggios, scales etc… Oh, don’t worry, these things are not called scales or arpeggios on the internet. They have other names, more generic, more interesting, they’re called “runs” or “licks” or “chops”. The name doesn’t really matter since you can’t do any of them. You had a dream of playing in front of sold out shows, you wanted to be applauded for your sweat and magnificence, and there is that little barrier, what am I saying, not even a barrier, a fence, a bump, a pebble. And if only you could just get rid of it in a jiffy and get going towards the shiny goal of becoming the next Elton John or the next Van Cliburn (It depends which team you want to play for).

Well, that little thing is called technique. That’s what gives you the nimbleness, the speed, the clarity required to play more difficult pieces, and, ultimately, that’s what will help you play ANYTHING.

So, you ingest that info and bravely you now look for technical exercises online. You are ready to burn the earth with your determination, you can’t be stopped, look out! the world is about to see some fine technique coming out of your playing. Meanwhile, to gets some kind of compass, you read a few online articles, you listen to a few recordings, you dig into the work of a famous or not-so-famous-pianist. You practice, you practice. Your scales become a bit better, the fingering is a bit messed up, but the speed is better. Still, as you keep plowing through, it seems that the scope of the work seems to grow. The more exercises you do, the more there seems to be. And, more importantly, this knowledge is dry, very dry, no fun in repeating twenty times each and every note of the scale of F Major. And, so, as has happened to so many hobbyist, they eventually quit. Technique has won the arm-wrestling battle. The piano goes from being something fun, to an instrument of torture and will end up just a pretty furniture.

I see those players sometimes coming to my studio, the ones who got beat by technique. Their story is now familiar to me. They have that passion, they tried, and no matter how hard they pushed, they had to stop. “Please, Sol, can you help me?”

“Well, yes, of course I can”, I say, smiling. You see, what your internet didn’t point out was how to make the technique fun, and how to apply it through a pleasant piece of music. And that kind of approach is my specialty. So, come and take lessons. I do a great discount on the first 2 lessons right now.

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